Web Sites: Not just a spiritual smorgasbord

Ontario Consultants on

Religious Tolerance

http://www.religioustolerance.org/

welcome.htm

"Those who stand for everything, stand for nothing," reads one of the more repeatable reactions to this site, whose message board more typically features abuse from fundamentalists of various persuasions. But this fascinating survey of 63 world religions is more than a spiritual smorgasbord - the aim is to give objective accounts of each belief system, independent of misinformation from rival camps. Begun as a response to the conflict in former Yugoslavia - seen here as primarily religious in nature - the site has now grown to some 500 essays, dealing also with current controversies and "hot topics" (prayer in schools, abortion, etc). Religion itself is not under attack, it is claimed, but the emphasis tends towards the defence of minority beliefs traditionally victimised by mainstream culture, which includes difficult areas like Scientology and a scepticism towards the motives of "deprogrammers". Sometimes, laconic editorialising can't help but emerge, as when the section on the Jim Jones Guyana cult suicide concludes: "A Christian group. Total body count: 919." The self-described consultants of the title are four in number - two unemployed, one a student and one working in "food service" - and are seeking financial support to keep the site operational.

i-Lab web

http://www.ilab.lbs.ac.uk/

A sinister one-eyed spider, like a refugee from Starship Troopers, welcomes visitors to this London Business School site. There follows a production number complete with flashing cyrillics and sponsors' names dancing to a techno beat. The arachnid eyeball is the centre of a clever, customised click-and-drag navigation system, though there's not much content to navigate to, as yet: this is a newly launched experimental space, one of an increasing number of hybrid research labs for artists, educators and sponsors in pursuit of "new media development opportunities". The "i" in i-Lab stands for imagination, innovation and interaction: linked with new facilities in London and New York, the site will function as a distance learning tool - for instance, for trying out new approaches to animation and online game design.

World Wide Words

http://www.quinion.demon.co.uk/words/

Michael Quinion's impressive online CV includes stints as radio producer, cider museum curator and all-purpose heritage adviser. He is also a dedicated freelance lexicographer, contributing substantially to The Oxford Dictionary of New Words, and giving full rein to his fascination with language on these pages. A "Word Hoard" section lists neologisms from "alcopop" to "xenotransplantation" and takes in not just cyberpunk, but also "biopunk" and "ribofunk" on the way. There are succinct little essays on grammar and usage, and a practical rather than pedantic approach to such matters as the gender-neutral pronoun (use "their" in casual situations, rewrite to avoid the problem in more formal cases.) A definitive etymology for a "Full Monty", however, still eludes him.

Unicef Virtual Christmas Card

http://www.unicef.org.uk/

Web greetings cards can be found everywhere, but the United Nations Children's Fund claims to be the first to offer an online charity card. The idea is pitched mainly at companies - "add a seasonal touch of goodwill to your business message" - and allows a customised greeting to be added. Only, however, after negotiating a secure transaction form asking for a minimum donation of pounds 2 per card. Nostalgists for the traditional woodpulp/snailmail format may also order from the site - the designs, while not featuring a virtual rotating globe, do tend to be a little more Christmassy.

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Stinson Hunter and his associates Stubbs and Grime in Channel 4 documentary The Paedophile Hunter

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Arts and Entertainment
This Banksy mural in Clacton has been removed by the council
art
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?